History of European Ideas 45 (8):1191-1210 (2019)

ABSTRACTWe can easily misread historical texts if we take ideas and passages out of their textual contexts. The resulting errors are widespread, possibly even more so than errors through reading ideas and passages out of their historical contexts. Yet the methodological literature stresses the latter and says little about the former. This paper thus theorises the idea of textual context, distinguishes three types of textual context, and asks how we uncover the right textual contexts. I distinguish four kinds of textual-context error, and offer practical tips for avoiding these errors. However, the beating heart of this paper is the history–philosophy debate: in contrast to the prevailing assumption that historical and philosophical analysis are fundamentally different, I show that a commitment to textual context, which should be entirely uncontroversial, also commits one to think philosophically.
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DOI 10.1080/01916599.2019.1656945
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References found in this work BETA

The Historiography of Philosophy: Four Genres.Richard Rorty - 1984 - In . Cambridge University Press.
Hobbes and Republican Liberty.Quentin Skinner & Samantha Frost - 2009 - Political Theory 37 (5):694-705.
Hobbes.Tom Sorell - 1986 - Routledge.
Rousseau and Republicanism.Annelien de Dijn - 2018 - Political Theory 46 (1):59-80.

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Meanings and Understandings in the History of Ideas.Adrian Blau - 2020 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 14 (2):232-256.

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